May 27, 2007

Jules Nails The AP, Michelle Gets The Rest

Jules Crittenden notices a substantial gap in the AP's reporting on the war on terror, and wonders what games the news agency wants to play with American body counts:

I thought body counts went out with the Vietnam War. The AP is kicking off Memorial Day weekend with a fresh body count in Iraq.

How come no mention of Americans killed in Afghanistan since last Memorial Day?

The AP story leads with the number of new graves opened for dead American soldiers since Memorial Day last, but only those killed in Iraq. Why this slight? Are the dead in Afghanistan not worthy of respect in the eyes of the Associated Press? It is possible that this article is not about honoring the dead at all, or even about reporting the news, but just another thinly veiled editorial attack on the Bush administration? Would the Associated Press be so callous as to use American dead in this manner, as a political tool?

Michelle Malkin also takes a look at reporting this weekend on the war. Be sure to read them both.

Here's the trouble with these body-count reports: they only tell half of the story, if that. As Jules notes, and as Chris Muir depicts in today's cartoon, the real story is much broader than how many American soldiers died in the line of duty over the past year (980). Those increased deaths come from a much more aggressive, and successful, strategy of clearing and holding neighborhoods in order to drive out terrorists and insurgents. We hear nothing about the deaths of these insurgents and terrorists. Jules notes that a conservative estimate of captured terrorists is over 1,500 in the same time period, and the number of terrorist dead is several times that.

And it isn't just about body counts. It's about the increased access to information and power of the average Iraqi citizen. More and more of them have mundane services such as telephones and television, uncontrolled by a paranoid dictator. Schools have reopened, and even more are being built for more Iraqi children than ever before. Independent radio stations and newspapers allow Iraqis to freely debate the issues, a world apart from their experience over the last four decades.

Body counts tell us nothing. The mission is what we should debate. The deaths over the last year amount to about two-thirds of the losses in the Kasserine Pass, our first engagement against the Wehrmacht in WWII. Fifteen hundred dead American soldiers in North Africa did not make the mission worthless there, and 980 deaths do not discredit this mission, either. If we want to defeat terrorists in the Middle East and see a strong, secure, and independent Iraq as a vital part of that mission, then we need to commit ourselves to that mission while trying to minimize American deaths to the best extent possible.

Every American death is a tragedy for their families, and of course we mourn them. Memorial Day exists for that purpose. However, it also honors their commitment to freedom, liberty, and our nation's security.


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Comments (17)

Posted by DJ Elliott | May 27, 2007 11:31 AM

over 5000 US KIA in the last 11 hours of WWI.

Posted by Adjoran | May 27, 2007 12:29 PM

We lost more American servicemen to non-combat, on-duty accidents in both the Reagan and Clinton Administrations then have been lost in Iraq.

They deserve equal praise, of course, since it was their willingness to serve our country which put them in the way the fatal mishaps. It may give some perspective on the numbers.

While losing over 3000 troops in four+ years is a sacrifice, do remember what the left predicted just before the invasion. US soldiers would be "coming home in TENS OF THOUSANDS of body bags," they said.

I hate to cast a pall upon their jubilant celebrations of every even "000" number of casualties we have suffered, but I have to wonder if their "tens of thousands" predictions were because they thought Saddam would unleash his WMDs, or were they just wishful thinking on the leftists' parts?

Does anyone what they said about Afghanistan? "Where Empires go to die . . ." "...tens of thousands of body bags..." (apparently they were really hoping for that one), and after three weeks, they were declaring it a "quagmire."

The meme was set before the first men hit the ground in both cases. The left merely plugs in the real numbers and pretends they fit the pre-drawn conclusions.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 27, 2007 2:34 PM

3393 have died

They died fighting a dictator who [I admit it] considered himself at war with the US, but had never actually attacked the United States. Of course, when that dictator sits on 40% of the world's oil...then aristocratic families in the White House are bound to come up with any reason to go to war; as long as it gets them their blood money!

3393 Americans will never become doctors and save lives, will never run businesses and feed families that build a nation. They'll never teach subsequent generations, create and share unique art, and they'll never add to American literature or culture again.

They died under a false pretense that they were fighting to free others and open the door to Democracy for those 'oppressed'-I mean really, you canNOT force someone to vote, and if they really wanted Democracy they could have risen up and fought for it like Americans did in the Revolution
3393 Americans are dead because our President needed a war to pull this nation out of the economic toilet!

They fought for each other, they hoped to survive, and everything else...the mom, apple pie, and politics of Saturday night is just BS!

3393 Americans are dead because this nation was attacked by suicidal wackos who got the nation's blood pressure up, and happened to have a 'relationship' with another 'Axis of Evil' power. COME ON! A relationship? There's NO evidence at all of a "COOPERATIONAL RELATIONSHIP" BETWEEN THE TWO!!

We now know from British documents that intelligence before the war was being focused and manipulated to make the case for war almost a year before it started.

3393 Americans are dead! They died on June 6th 1944 Invading France to impose democracy on a people who should have risen up for it themselves, to fight a dictator who never attacked the US but considered himself at war with the US, and who had no operational ties to Japan-the nation that DID attack the US.

3393 Americans are dead now

Actually, after 4 yrs of war in Iraq, the total Americans killed THERE is just a little more than the one day in June 60+yrs ago.

....Body counts

Posted by Monique | May 27, 2007 3:06 PM


3393 American died so that WE could, as you put it, "become doctors and save lives, run businesses and feed families that build a nation... teach subsequent generations, create and share unique art, and add to American literature or culture".

They died so that YOU could argue without fear of government reprisal, could sleep safely at night with your family instead of always wondering if YOU were going to die tomorrow because of some terrorist, so that YOU could help someone else.

And when they are not protecting you and not building schools, or protecting electric substations, or ridding neighborhoods of people who hold them hostage, oh, and saving the lives of innocent Iraqis in torture camps run by AQ, they are seeing to it that other innocent Iraqis are getting state of the art medical treatment, mostly here in the US. And, they do add to our culture - their lives alone have done that because through their lives they have touched others and so on.

I think that what our Armed Forces are doing is saving us all.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | May 27, 2007 4:14 PM

Scott Malensek explicated:

"They died fighting a dictator who [I admit it] considered himself at war with the US, but had never actually attacked the United States."

LOL. What time do the triple suns rise on your world? He had been attacking us for years. He regularly shot at our planes in the No Fly Zones (which I should remind you were also set up by the FRENCH). Remember, he signed certain documents when we kicked him out of Kuwait promising to behave. He never did.

Saddam also attempted to assasinate a former US President. And many captured and translated documents prove that he DID want to attack us. Read them yourself. jveritas posts here on occasion, and has done a super job:

And remember, your man Billy Clinton claimed, in his Justice Department's indictment of bin Laden in 1998, that al Qaeda and Iraq WERE working together. Read the indictment yourself.

And please don't waste our time with the "Downing Street Memo" BS. We're smarter than that here.

Posted by Richard Romano | May 27, 2007 6:19 PM

God rest our brave fallen, and bless our brave troops fighting terrorist slime.

People like Scott should be ashamed -- but hey, he has the right to speak because of those who died to protect our freedoms. God bless the families of our heroes -- we will not forget.

Posted by Keemo | May 27, 2007 6:58 PM

Very well stated Richard...

You must be very young Scott; if not, you truly should be ashamed...

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 27, 2007 7:09 PM

Amazing how no one read the entire post. Yall just wigged out instead of getting to the end. C'mon guys. Go back and re-read.

Posted by Joe | May 27, 2007 11:30 PM

Scott your on a site where the Captain is an intellectually honest conservative, but his commenters are for the most part radical right fringe elements. You get attacked here anytime homage is not paid to Bush and his policies. Don't feel bad, they attack the Captain too if he says anything opposite of the PARTY LINE, Our troops our brave as hell, Bush sends them to their death so in ten years a Shia Theocracy can exist in Iraq, probably aligned with Iran. Bush is a war criminal that should be in jail. Watch that rile up the neo-nuts Scott.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 28, 2007 7:45 AM

Funny, I'm pretty sure Joe didn't read my post either.

Posted by guinsPen | May 28, 2007 8:45 AM

Maybe you need a stronger punch-line for such a long set-up, Scott.

Posted by Angry Dumbo | May 28, 2007 8:55 AM

"Body counts tell us nothing. The mission is what we should debate."

Well put. Liberals cannot support our troops if you don't support their mission. One of my favorite observations was by Rodger Hedgecock who said that liberals believe they are supporting our troops by making them part of a victim class.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 28, 2007 9:17 AM

I dunno if the opposition to the war is even conservative/liberal anymore. Today, it seems as if the nation is tired, wants to see or get something for all the tragedy, and just can't envision it. Those who strongly oppose the war have finally revealed themselves as really more Bush opponents than war opponents for if their opposition to the war and demands for accountability were sincere, then they'd hold all those responsible for promoting and authorizing it to account. Bush is a lame duck and won't be re-elected, Republican control of Cap Hill is gone, and yet those Dems who saw the intel for years, who promoted the war, who authorized it, and who undermined it for their own political pandering are not only given a free pass, but re-elected, funded, and actually supported in their runs for the Presidency. If strong opponents of the war really opposed it, and really wanted accountability, they'd be railing against Sen Clinton, Sen Edwards, Sen Kerry, Sen Levin, Sen Rockefeller, Sen Durbin, and so forth just as much as they had railed against W and Republicans. The true anti-war sentiment of the most ardent activists has been revealed by their shallow duplicity and partisan condoning. Were their problem the issue and not the party, they'd go after all responsible, not just R's, and now that the R's are out of power or heading that way, where's the accountability for Democrats? There is none.

Posted by MattHelm | May 28, 2007 10:31 AM

To a great extent, I think most of the problem as regards opposition to the war stems from three reasons:

1) the failure of this administration to adequately communicate with the American people its aims, goals, and the need for success in Iraq. An important element of that communication process lies in aggressively countering the arguments of those opposed to US involvement in Iraq through use of the presidential bully pulpit. The Bush administration has not done a good job in articulating its position, partly because, for the most part, the President is not that charismatic an individual. An FDR, TR, JFK, or Ronald Reagan would have been much more adept at arousing popular support even with a hostile media--in fact those men would have used a hostile media to great effect.

2) A certain naivete amongst many within the anti-war movement brought about as a result of the essential abandonment of classical liberal arts education as a result of the 60s revolution. Along with this naivete we also see the influence of Foucault, Deridda, and Marcuse--especially Marcuse and his views regarding "Repressive Toleration"--an essay all conservatives should read as that gives remarkable insight into the left's intolerance towards any line of thought opposed to itself. Often, the only history course many students see these days is one semester of American History in high school and maybe a semester of American government--if that. As a result, many within our society are not aware of the historical forces that are at work here nor are they willing to carry out the thoughtful and critical analysis of the media that is required of all citizens.

The last element is that modern American society has become incredibly squeamish and risk averse. As Scott Malensek pointed out in his post, the total KIA count for our entire involvement in Iraq is less than one day on the Normandy beaches. On July 1, 1916, the British at the Battle of the Somme had 19,240 dead in one day's fighting! There are two rules of war: 1)people die and 2)you can't do anything to change rule number one. A nation has to decide whether the positives that result from a successful conclusion of hostilities is worthy of the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for it. Secondarily, as a society, we have become reluctant to take on the risks and potential sacrifices that must accompany lofty goals such as ridding the world of terror. The society that launched the Apollo project is no longer our society, unfortunately. On the whole, our society is reluctant to take the risks that must accompany leadership. We need to recapture the spirit of Apollo and of the SAS: Who Dares--Wins.

Posted by Dan Collins | May 28, 2007 3:33 PM

Jules Nails The AP

Now that's just gross, Cap'n

Posted by Joe | May 30, 2007 9:13 AM

Hey, I'm not wrong here. And Scott, shutup!!!

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 30, 2007 7:38 PM

"Hey, I'm not wrong here. And Scott, shutup!!!"

LOL! Finally read the entire post didjya